Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Shak what? I took a stab at this Israeli recipe that was in the recent issue of Vegetarian Times. Can be paired with almost anything: Pitas, tomatoes, cream cheese, fruit. Very versatile!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Wine of the Week - Mark Herold 2008 Flux


On the nose are light notes of strawberry and flowers.  Buried underneath that, I picked up very slight traces of celery and grass.

The flowers really come out on the tongue.  Rosey.  Finishes quick, and leaves a hot burn in your mouth.

I remember enjoying this a lot more during a tasting, and was a bit disappointed drinking the bottle by itself.  It's a quality wine to be sure, but felt a little harsh to me.

14.6% alcohol

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Butternut Squash Soup

Years ago, my father gave me a recipe for butternut squash soup. It was simple and delicious. And I lost it. But then I found it! And I made it again. And it was just as delicious as before. And so simple! 5 ingredients, including salt! One note, I made it with a fairly small squash and it barely fed two adults and a toddler, so if you're hungry or cooking for a group or like to have leftovers, make extra! It's great for fall and would fit in great at a holiday table.

1 medium butternut squash, halved and seeded
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth
1 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 350 F

2. Place the halved and seeded squash on an oiled roasting pan and roast in the oven for 1 hour or until a knife goes in easily. Let the squash cool slightly and remove the skin, which will come away easily when the squash is cooked.

3. Sautee the onion in the olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat. Add the squash and the broth to the pan and simmer together for about 10 minutes.

4. Place the mixture and salt in a blender (you might want to let it cool slightly, first), blend completely.

If you're wondering why there's no picture of the soup, try making it yourself. See if you have time to snap a photo before devouring it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Tangy Falafel

While looking through the cupboard one day, I came up with this idea. And it turned out mighty tasty!
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup frozen veggies
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • Orange vinaigrette (I used Trader Joe's orange champagne vinaigrette)

1. Mash chickpeas, cilantro, olive oil and garlic together (can use a food processor). Roll in

1" balls. Bake on an oiled cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Turnover and bake for another 10 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cook quinoa and veggies according to package directions.

3. Serve falafel on top of quinoa and veggies. Top with a few tbsp of vinaigrette.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Wine of the Week - Hacienda 2009 Rosa Rosa


Hacienda de las Rosas brings us this excellent blush, a white syrah (red grapes with the skins removed).

The nose is full of floral scents.  As you might guess, it smells like roses in particular.

This is a surprisingly full-bodied wine, weightier than you'd expect from a blush, but not heavy.  It's sugary sweet, but modestly so.  There's a rich honey current running through, with a nice, acidic finish. A great drink for the summer.

11.6% alcohol

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lentil tostada

A really quick meal, if you use pre-cooked lentils. And tasty!
A recipe from Better Homes and Gardens Be sure to use fresh cilantro - it really adds all the flavor.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Wine of the Week - First Drop 2010 Mother's Milk

In celebration of Comic-Con, here's an excellent wine that just so happens to have a comic strip on its label.


This Australian Shiraz has strawberry and earthy scents on the nose - dirt, some tree bark.

Nice, balanced acid in the range of cherries.  Some bold, dark flavors, including tobacco and anise.  A juicy, excellent wine.

14.5% alcohol

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Black bean panini

I love me my sammiches. So when I was looking for something for dinner one night, I raided the fridge and cupboard to see what I could see. And came up with this tasty panini!

Whole grain bread 
1 cup canned black beans, mashed 
Pepper spread (I used Red Pepper and Eggplant Spread from Trader Joe's) 
Cheddar cheese

Friday, July 6, 2012

Wine of the Week - Carivintas NV "Cabby"


Carivintas knocks it out of the park again with this nonvintage blend of Sousao, Barbera and Merlot.

The strawberry jam and peppery spices on the nose let you know you're in for a treat.

This is a very warm and comforting wine.  Great acid, balanced with tastes of tree bark and anise.  Carivintas suggested many flavors I didn't detect, but I agreed with them about the plum.  The important thing is, this is a flavorful, layered wine that keeps developing and surprising as you taste it.  Highly recommended.

13.9% alcohol

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Patriotic cupcakes

To be festive, I took in a plate of these spice cupcakes from SheKnows.com to work. And they were a hit! Yes, they're frosted cupcakes, but surprisingly not overly sweet.
And you don't have to make these vegan. Using the original dairy versions should work just fine! Have a happy and safe 4th!